Hunters hunting Hunters
Ryan panted heavily as he took a break from running for his life for a second and leaned his back against an overloaded, filthy dumpster. The young Immortal took a deep, long, slow breath to slow his heart. He could still sense the four Immortals after him, though the flickering aura belonging to one of them indicated that he’d be dead soon enough. A combat knife in the ribs will do that to you, even if you keep moving for a minute or so after being stabbed.
Still, he’d been running for what felt like hours, though the sun had not yet slipped totally below the horizon. He and Connor had arrived by train at Gotham Central Station an hour before nightfall, only to discover that the place was watched by nearly a dozen Immortals. Probably the welcoming committee for those who decided to join the Master, Ryan had concluded. He and Connor had tried to stand their ground while in the midst of the mass of mortals at the station, but several gunshots had cleared the building, leaving only a pair of overweight, overmatched, octogenarian security guards, a lot of hostile Immortals, and two seriously overmatched friends.
In their flight, the pair had made it to the roof of the station before a throwing knife thudded into Connor’s shoulder, sending him stumbling. In his attempts to regain balance, he went over the edge of the four-story building. Unable to get to the wounded Highlander without dying himself, Ryan had cursed inventively and run straight on, making an adrenaline fuelled leap across the gap bridging a side road, only to break both legs landing on the building opposite.
By the time his legs had healed, four Immortals had converged on his location.
Now, after blindly stabbing one and then hurling himself down the building’s internal stairwell eight steps at a time, Ryan had burst out onto the street and simply ran.
It hadn’t taken him long to get hopelessly lost. Gotham was originally built on the same sort of grid pattern as the majority of major US cities, but with recent earthquakes, fires and other earth-shattering events, the property titles had shifted enough that many of the alleys were now serpentine, rather than straight. While it played hell on a man’s internal sense of direction, it was a godsend for someone trying to lose a quartet of thugs hell bent on removing your head from your shoulders.
Having spent nearly ten precious seconds regaining his reserves, Ryan pushed away from the dumpster and ran on. He felt the presence of one of the Immortals following him disappear, and gave a small grin of victory. That Immortal had obviously succumbed to his wound. By the time that one woke from his temporary death, Ryan would be half a mile away.
Of course, if these guys had a way of keeping in contact with each other, like mobile phones, he could be just delaying the inevitable.
Ryan rounded a corner at top speed, nearly slipping over on the slimy pavement. The sense of another Immortal faded, and for a second, Ryan wondered if he might just live through the night.
A gunshot rang out, and something punched Ryan’s right bicep hard. His wakizashi flew from his grip as the slight Immortal felt himself picked up by the shock of the blow and thrown around. With his current momentum, Ryan nearly cart wheeled down the alley before crashing into a pile of garbage bags carelessly strewn along side a building, next to an empty dumpster. He groggily looked up at his attacker, half covered in black garbage bags.
The mugger grinned down at him in the darkening alleyway. The massive, smoking Magnum in his hand that was still pointed at Ryan wouldn’t have looked out of place on a tank. The mugger leaned over and picked up the wakizashi. “Nice sword. Tell me, you got anything else nice?”
Before Ryan could respond, the sudden arrival of three Immortals from around the same bend caught the mugger’s attention. One took one look at the sword in the mugger’s hand and laughed.
“You’re mine,” the Immoral snarled, and attacked.
Absolutely stunned at the overly aggressive nature of a man who did not even hold a gun, the mugger was attacked before he could aim his weapon properly. The single shot he managed to get off missed the charging Immortal, who took full advantage of the mistake. The mugger’s head flew from his shoulders, complete with a now permanent expression of surprise, splashing the walls of the alley with blood.
Ryan, hidden amongst the black garbage bags, immediately took a deep breath and clamped down on his aura, hiding it from the Immortals. Instantly reddening, he estimated he would be able to hold his breath for only twenty seconds or so. Even with a dampened aura, they’d be able to hear his labored breathing.
The Immortal who had killed the mugger stood straight, his arms above his head, eagerly awaiting a Quickening. After a few seconds he frowned, and looked down. “Shit,” he said, before wiping the warm blood from his face and looking at his bloody palm.
The other two grunted; one even poked the remains of the unlucky mugger with the tip of his sword. “’E’s not one of us. Where did the other one go then?” he asked.
The first shook his head and wiped his hand on his jeans. “Split up. Find him, or I’ll have your heads,” he snarled.
The other two shared a glance before nodded and jogging off in different directions. The first bent down and tugged Ryan’s wakizashi free from the ex-mugger’s death grip. “Where did you get this, you idiot?” he asked the corpse.
The buzz from the presence of his two allies faded. Ryan counted to three before he let his breath out and his aura flare. Released from its prison, the sudden sensation shocked the hunter into turning around in a full circle.
Three shots struck his chest.
“He got it from me,” Ryan replied, stumbling out from the garbage pile, his Glock out and pointing directly at the Immortal.
The hunter had enough time to look down at the three wounds in his chest and admire the precision of the shots before his awareness faded.
Ryan watched him fall over. He cautiously approached the fallen hunter and the corpse of the unfortunate mugger, ensuring the hunter was in fact dead before replacing the pistol to its holster at the small of his back. “That’s mine, I believe,” he said to no one in particular, retrieving his main weapon.
As much as expediency told him that he should take the dead man’s head, Ryan just couldn’t. He hadn’t beaten the man in a fair fight, no challenge had been issued. While many other, older Immortals of his acquaintance would have taken the opportunity with glee, Ryan still hadn’t relinquished his mortal values and morals. The same values made his life infinitely more difficult to live within the Game all Immortals played, but made it much easier for Ryan to live with himself. “Another time,” he said sadly, shaking his head. Picking an alley that the two other hunters hadn’t searched, Ryan set of at a loping run, conserving energy.
Connor cursed as he rounded the corner of a twisting alley only to discover that it was a dead end. It had been pathetically easy to follow him, since he was soaking wet and leaving a trail of dirty water in his wake. He drew and rolled his katana into a ready position, then turned and faced the two Immortals who had tailed him.
While he didn’t have Ryan’s powerful ability to read auras, the body language these two exhibited easily told him that he had more centuries under his belt than these two combined. While both were taller and heavier than that Scot, neither wanted to come close to the whirling blade he carried. Both had already tasted the steel, as evidenced by the ragged, bloody tears to their clothes.
It had also already accounted for the head of one of their number, and was the reason that only three Immortals had chased him from the station. Since his fall from the Station roof had been broken by a car below, he had faced five different Immortals. While the car was now little more than an insurance company’s scrap metal, he had survived the fall with only a couple of dozen assorted fractures. Fractures that healed far more quickly than returning from the dead.
It hadn’t stop him from playing dead though, a tactic that had allowed him to stab one of the original five Immortals in the stomach, before tearing the wound wide open as he rolled off the car. While mostly healed from the fall, the roll did tear the knife from his shoulder. It took all of the Highlander’s mental strength to ignore the pain and follow through with his strike. The five had been expecting a corpse, and were taken completely by surprise as, with a low swing, Connor buried his blade halfway through a second Immortal’s side before running.
Leaving the two Immortals with mortal wounds, the remaining three began chasing after him, howling for his head. Connor, who had lived on and off in New York for the past two centuries, knew how to take advantage of crowds to put distance between himself and his pursuers. The trio following him unaccountably found themselves having to barge through crowds, jump over upended hotdog carts and charge out into traffic at inopportune times. Even so, they knew the layout of Gotham better, and eventually the trio had managed to shepherd him onto a bridge that was only partially rebuilt from the earthquake. On seeing the far side of the river over a hundred yards from the end of the partially completed bridge, Connor had turned and let loose a Highland battle cry, and charged the three Immortals. Through a mixture of luck and inspired fear, he managed to lop one head from its body on his way past.
Before he was stricken with the released Quickening, he had dived into the filthy river. Remembering his first lesson from Ramirez, Connor instantly breathed in a lungful of dirty water, perishing quickly. Just as had happened nearly five hundred years ago, he blinked himself awake seconds later with the ability to breath underwater.
It was the first time he had ever accepted a Quickening underwater. Shouting with water in your lungs was much different than normal.
The oddly muted sensation lasted longer than he had expected, but his leap into the river had prevented the other Immortals from following. As murky as it was under the water’s surface, there was no way you could have identified friend from foe, even if you had the ability to swing a blade fast enough to decapitate someone underwater.
Connor made it to shore only to be immediately observed by one of his pursuers. The brief battle between the pair had been quickly interrupted by the remaining surviving Immortal joining in, and between the two of them, they had driven the Highlander away, though not before both had received some nasty, jagged cuts.
As Connor shifted his attention from one to the other, he mentally berated himself for not honing his skills at fighting multiple opponents over the centuries. He’d never expected to be fighting two Immortals at once, and mortals usually gave up the fight after receiving a few nicks and cuts to sensitive areas of their anatomy.
The Highlander shifted his attention from one of his opponents to the other; he knew that even with his superior skill, he was at a disadvantage. His clothing stuck to his skin uncomfortably, restricting his movements and weighing him down. He was in an unknown part of the city, and had no idea exactly where to run to next. His only real advantage in this fight was that his opponents were uncomfortable in fighting at each other’s side. To his left, the man wielded a large Scottish claymore; to his right, the man wielded an exquisite falchion.
Figuring that the man with the larger sword would be slower in attack, Connor sent a feint at the falchion-wielder on his right, driving him into a defensive stance on the heels of his feet, before swinging his sword down at the knees of the claymore wielder to his left. The strike was blocked cleanly on his opponent’s blade. As quickly as he could, Connor whipped his lighter blade back and sent an overhand strike at the man’s head. With the sudden and extreme change of attack vector, the man grunted with effort to bring his blade up in time to again block the katana.
Connor let go of the katana with his left hand and reached out, taking a handful of the man’s jacket. Moving himself more than his opponent, Connor positioned the claymore holder between himself and the second Immortal, avoiding the expected thrust from the falchion. The man with the claymore snarled at his manipulation, and shoved the Highlander backwards. Connor, who had been expecting this, simply stood back with the push, and kicked the man squarely in the groin.
Despite their infertility, even Immortals have difficulty shrugging off a swift, hard blow to their genitals. The man crumpled to his knees, though retained the presence of mind to brace his claymore against the back of his neck and along his spine, protecting himself from a fatal blow.
Connor had a different idea, and simply slipped the point of his katana through his unprotected ribs into the man’s heart and lungs, before twisting and yanking the blade out in time to deflect another strike from the Immortal with the falchion.
The second Immortal’s inexperience showed when he looked down at his stricken partner with a grimace. Connor gleefully took the opportunity to strike the falchion hard, pushing it well outside of his opponent’s sphere of control. The return strike cleanly severed the man’s head from his shoulders.
Panting with the sudden loss of adrenaline, Connor quickly kicked the claymore away from his first victim and decapitated him too.
This time, the first time Connor had ever experienced a dual Quickening, his damp clothes made the experience more painful. At the end of the fireworks, the alley had been reduced nearly to rubble. Not a single window stood intact, and each building surrounding the Highlander had suffered extensive damage.
Finally, after a minute or so, Connor rose on wobbly legs and set of at an easy pace. The phone in his pocket would be useless after both the drop from the station roof and the extended bath in the river, so he had no way of contacting Ryan. He just needed to make it to holy ground before he was tracked by other Immortals.
Ryan hid his weapons under his jacket, and made his way into the rush-hour crowds as they left their workplace. Some in the crowd headed home, some went out for a drink or a meal. Some arrived at twenty-four hour operations to take over from the day-shift. Ryan didn’t particularly care what they did, so long as they stayed out for a little longer. He’d asked a shopkeeper closing up for the night where the nearest church was, and had been given vague directions towards the south.
Connor’s phone wasn’t responding to any calls, and Ryan was pretty sure it had been crushed when the Highlander had fallen from the roof of the station. Without any evidence to the contrary, he was determined to assume that the older Immortal had somehow survived his fall and subsequent encounter with several hostile Immortals. Of all the Immortals Ryan had ever met, he’d put half his fortune on one of the Highlanders to win the Prize. Of course, if one of the Highlanders did win the prize, that would mean that Ryan himself wouldn’t exactly have a use for his fortune.
Ryan’s hand was moving towards his phone before the first ring finished. He snapped it open and said, “Connor?”
“Mr. Chessman. Approximately forty metres in front of you are two Immortals,” came a digitally disguised voice.
Ryan blinked. “Who is this?”
“There is an alleyway to your right. Take it.”
Ryan stopped walking. “No,” he said, not prepared to walk into a trap.
The voice, despite its technological changes, sounded frustrated. “I cannot explain who I am to your satisfaction in the time you have. We have a mutual acquaintance whose wardrobe is rather terrifying. Now, you need to move. Go!”
Suddenly feeling the unwelcome sensation of two hostile Immortals within range, Ryan decided to risk following the vague instructions. He stepped surreptitiously into the mouth of the alley, then proceeded to run its length. The two buzzes faded, only to be replaced rather suddenly by three others.
“Turn left at the end of the alley,” came the new instruction.
“Who are you?” Ryan gasped between breaths as he thundered around the corner at nearly top speed.
There was a pause before the voice responded. “Introductions can wait for a less life-threatening time, but you may call me Oracle if you feel the need. Quickly, coming up to your right, there is a fire escape painted red. Climb it to the top of the building.” With that, the call disconnected.
Grumbling at the possibility of being led into a trap, Ryan shut his phone and again followed instructions, wary for an ambush. The three Immortals following him had been joined by two others, their auras identical to the original pair he had run down the alley to escape. He reached the top just as the first of his stalkers reached the bottom of the fire escape.
The phone rang again. The person identified as Oracle spoke before he could offer an initial salutation. “There is a cable connected to the opposite side of the building you can slide down. Throw your belt over it and ride it down.” Once more, it disconnected.
Ryan frowned, but looked until he noticed the cable. Some sort of metallic bolt held this end tightly to the brickwork. Feeling the posse of hostile Immortals climbing closer, he quickly whipped of his belt and tossed one end over the thin wire. With a deep breath, he checked to make sure his weapons would be secure while his arms were upright, then he grasped the free end of his belt with his free hand, muttered a quick prayer to fate, and jumped off the edge of the building.
The street below, though hardly crowded, did have several people going about their business. Many looked up as the young Immortal slid down the angled wire.
The ride down was exhilarating, even if the friction of the cable nearly cut the hard leather belt in two. By the time Ryan reached the bottom of the descent, he was traveling at a disturbingly unsafe speed. With a yelp, he let go of his belt and tried to tumble-roll, only to stab himself in the thigh with the point of his wakizashi. While the adrenaline masked most of the pain, he still hissed between his teeth as he drew the blade free. Though a fair few people glanced at him, not one offered to help. This was Gotham after all. Other people’s business was often fatal to interlopers. Tucking the wakizashi under his right arm, Ryan pressed hard on the wound with his left hand. After a few seconds, he could feel his Quickening go to work.
The phone rang again. It took some doing, but he managed to juggle wound, sword and phone. “What?” he snapped, holding his wound with his right hand, his sword still clutched under the arm. His hostile tone caused the street audience to flinch, and quickly leave him alone.
The voice actually sounded amused. “You need to learn how to land correctly.”
Ryan snarled. “Do you suppose you could consider warning me next time you want me to do something that normally takes years of training?”
“Go backwards, then take the next street on your left.”
Ryan paused, then looked up and around, searching for whatever or whoever had their eye on him. Despite the name his enigmatic caller used, Ryan seriously doubted that he or she was telepathic. Somehow, whoever it was had their eye on him, if they knew which way he was facing. The wound on his thigh closed completely, and Ryan stood, trying to get a better view of whoever was watching him. A sudden humming vibration from the taut cable he had just slid down attracted his attention. Looking up at the building he had just leapt from, he saw a large man with a close-cropped beard was sliding down the cable, his curved saber in his teeth. Obviously, he was a pirate movie aficionado. A second Immortal began the dangerous, rapid trip behind him.
Ryan took his sword out from under his arm and sighed at the stupidity of the human race. Suppressing a wince at the damage he would do to his sword, he took one quick swing and severed the cable from its mooring at his end.
The controlled, curved descent of the two Immortals turned into two arm-waving freefalls, as one after the other thudded into the unyielding concrete. Several people in the street screamed with fright and horror at the seemingly horrible deaths. Ryan gave a tight grin and began jogging towards the indicated street when a familiar sensation ran up his spine. The air felt heavy, and tasted of tin.
With a mumbled curse, Ryan turned to look at the fallen pair. The big fellow who was first onto the cable lay in pieces. A closer look revealed that on impact with the ground, the sword in his mouth had been responsible for cutting off everything above the jaw from the neck.
“Ah, not now! I don’t want the stupid bastard’s Quick—” Ryan hissed, before the first bolt of the stupid bastard’s Quickening silenced him by nearly knocking him off his feet.
For the next thirty seconds, Ryan quivered and shook as he absorbed the azure power of the idiotic Immortal who died by his own sword. With a final shout, he raised his arms instinctively, and his entire surrounds became enveloped in a massive, concurrent group of explosions. Manhole covers shot into the air, cars engines flared to life and windows shattered all around. Caught in the middle of the maelstrom, Ryan simply howled.
Finally, the Quickening ended. Ryan slumped to his knees panting and gasping for breath. He looked up and around once more, again noting the surprised, faces of dozens of people. He gave a tight grin, and though he felt as weak as a day-old kitten, held up a hand and addressed the crowd. “This is a movie folks, just act normal.”
The majority of the crowd gave an ‘Ah!’ of realization and began moving off about their business, but enough of them frowned at the patently false explanation to prove that not everyone was gullible in this city. Ryan rose to his feet and, deciding to leave his now-useless belt behind, staggered towards the indicated street, knowing that he had lost precious seconds absorbing the Quickening.
Once more, some Immortals entered his sensory range, and Ryan ground his teeth together with frustration. “This was not in the bloody Gotham travel brochure!” he muttered to himself as his body recovered and he managed to put on more speed.
The phone in his pocket rang again. Though it took a bit of juggling, he managed to get it out of his pocket and open. “I’m having a really bad day right now, please leave a message after the beep, and if I survive, I’ll get back to you.”
“Cute. On your right is an alley that appears to end about fifty metres in. Follow it to the end.”
“Are you kidding me? Ryan screeched, trying to keep his breath as more Immortals joined the chase. He could feel at least a half dozen individuals after him.
“There is a way through the wall. Check the pile of garbage at the bottom. Go!” Oracle finished, disconnecting the call.
Spitting out some choice curses, Ryan again turned into the indicated alleyway and saw the end wall. It appeared to be made of brick and insurmountable. The pile of black and white plastic garbage bags at the base looked as though they’d been there since before the earthquake.
Beginning to panic, Ryan violently kicked the bags out of the way. Just as the group of hunters rounded the corner fifty metres away, he found what he prayed actually existed; a gap in the brickwork.
Ignoring the rotting trash and filthy water that had leaked from the bags, Ryan threw himself onto his hands an knees and squirmed through the gap. The alley on the other side branched off into two different directions. Pushing away from the wall, he picked a direction at random and started jogging. He had the phone in his hand before it rang this time.
“You should have gone the other way.”
Panting, Ryan’s reply was a curt, “Tough.”
Over the next quarter of an hour, Oracle led him down a couple more alleys, over a fence and back again into some alleys. Ryan’s strength was very nearly spent, and he simply followed orders, keeping his increasingly irritated mood to himself. He needed every breath, and couldn’t afford to waste it lambasting the person on the other end of the line.
While the Oracle person never steered him wrong, he didn’t seem to be gaining anything either. More than once, he felt a group of those following him drop away, only to be led to a place where they could again take up the chase, often with reinforcements.
As this idea bubbled through the fatigue in his mind, Oracle again called, this time with something different to say.
“You’re nearly there. You’ll be safe in less than a minute.”
Ryan’s heart nearly skipped a beat, but the hope that flooded through him gave him strength. “There’s holy ground nearby?”
Oracle didn’t answer his question. “Take the next left, then the first right. Help is there.”
Ryan took a huge gulp of air and ran while he dropped the phone into his jacket pocket. He rounded the final corner and nearly shouted with fright. The dozen or so Immortals he could sense in the pack behind him were suddenly overshadowed by the distinct buzzing of an extremely powerful Immortal in front of him.
“Well done, Ryan,” he muttered sarcastically to himself, pulling his sword and knife from under his jacket. Figuring that his best chance of success was to distract, or at least disable the lone Immortal in front, he put his head down and charged.
Ryan looked up at his name, and nearly burst into tears at the welcome sight of Connor MacLeod, who also looked as though he had been running for a good while. “Connor!” he wheezed. Pointing behind him, he barked out, “Immortals! Lots of them.”
Before Connor could respond, Ryan saw the look on his face, and his stomach dropped. A second later, around seven or eight Immortal signatures came into range ahead of him, behind Connor.
“Oh, shit,” he offered. “You’re being chased too.”
Connor gave him a tight grin. “Well spotted.”
Without comment, the pair stood back-to-back, their weapons drawn. The chasing Immortals slowed their chase, seemingly just as exhausted as Ryan and Connor. They carefully spread out, drawing their various weapons.
Ryan counted thirteen on his side. “How many do you have?” he asked out of the side of his mouth.
Connor tilted his head towards him. “I mark eight. You?”
Ryan’s eyes flickered over the group again. “Thirteen. Want to swap?”
“Heh, heh, heh,” came Connor’s usual staccato laugh. “No, but thanks for the offer.”
Both groups crept forward towards the pair, but kept out of sword range, seemingly not used to this scenario. Ryan spotted one with three bullet holes in his shirt. That particular Immortal looked back at him with undisguised hatred. He cleared his throat. “Connor, I’ve got a gun,”
Connor snorted. “If you just want to piss off the rest of them, go ahead and draw it,” he said unhelpfully.
Ryan’s phone rang, startling everyone in the alley.
After it had rung a few times, Connor again leaned to one side. “You gonna get that?”
Ryan swallowed. “You’re kidding, right?”
“Heh, heh, heh, if you’ve gotta go, you may as well go in style,” the Highlander replied.
“Riiiight,” Ryan replied caustically. Carefully, Ryan holstered his knife and drew out the phone. To the encroaching Immortals he said, “Sorry to bother you, folks, but would you mind holding off for a second while I take this call? It’s very important.”
The sudden look of confusion and uncertainty on the Immortal’s faces was nearly enough to make Ryan chuckle. He flicked open the phone and said, “Care to get your gloating over and done with?”
The voice sounded amused. “Why would I gloat to you? It’s the other buggers I’ve got trapped. Count to five, then cover your ears, close your eyes and open your mouth.” The call disconnected with a loud click.
Ryan blinked. “Um, Connor?”
“I heard,” said the big Scot. “…three…four…”
Ryan dropped his sword, clapped his hands to his ears and shut his eyes.
A pair of explosions that would have overshadowed any Quickening Ryan had experienced rocked the alley. The explosion in front of Ryan pushed him backwards into Connor, but the second pushed Connor into him. Both Immortals fell to the ground.
Ryan blinked his eyes open and snatched his sword up from where it lay. His ears were ringing, despite covering them before the explosions. Looking around the alley, bodies of Immortals littered the ground, most of them still, one or two moving slightly.
Two figures dressed in black dropped into the alley from above, one going to each of the groups of stunned Immortals. In front of Ryan was a petite young female (if her skin-tight suit was any indication), who gave the pair of Immortals a quick, cheeky salute before pulling a complicated piece of machinery the size of a handgun from her belt at the small of her back. The outline of a bat in flight covered the majority of her well-shaped bust. Though probably still a teen, Ryan had lived long enough to know that as small as she was, she moved like a predator.
The object she had seemed to be a sort of injection system. The girl dressed like the Batman systematically pressed one end into the neck of each of the stunned Immortals, and depressed the trigger. Ryan turned around to see a well-built young man with a long pony-tail in a black and blue jumpsuit and eye-mask do the same thing with the Immortals who had followed Connor.
Ryan and Connor shared a glance, and both shrugged at the same time.
“Welcome to Gotham City,” a familiar voice said.
Ryan and Connor both spun to see the Batman emerge from the pitch-black shadows into the darkening grey twilight. The sight of the powerful figure caused both standing Immortals to breath a sigh of relief.
“Thank you for your help. This is the biggest catch of Immortals we’ve managed.”
Ryan felt a flash of anger. “You used us as bait?” he snapped.
The Batman turned his head slightly to focus on Ryan. “You have been under surveillance since leaving the Gotham Central Station. You were never in danger. An ally of mine took it as an opportunity to help us chip more Immortals.”
Ryan and Connor again looked at each other before looking over to the Batman’s allies. “You’re marking them?” Connor asked.
The Batman nodded. “Unlike yourselves, we have no way of determining who is an Immortal or not. When we confirm one, we inject a locator chip deep into their neck, meaning that surgery to remove it is life threatening.” The big man turned back to Ryan. “The Gotham Police Force have a set of devices that allow them to identify someone with one of our chips. They know then that they can use lethal force to take them down.
Ryan’s eyes bulged. “The whole bloody police force knows about Immortals?” he gasped.
The Batman shook his head, but seemed amused. “No, just the senior officers. The rank and file have been told that they are the results of an experiment into meta-human healing.” Both Ryan and Connor still looked dubious until he continued. “The Gotham Police Commissioner has faced down several different aliens, dozens of insane psychopaths with advanced technology and ideological fanatics of every kind. Trust me when I say that the knowledge of a race of Immortals living among mortals hardly registered on his weird-o-meter.”